By Su Byron
The New College Foundation has welcomed three new members to its board of directors: Esther Barazzone, Ph.D.; Margee Ensign, Ph.D.; and Larry Geimer, C.P.A./C.D.F.A.
Barazzone and Ensign are both world-renowned leaders in global higher education and civic engagement, and Geimer brings extensive expertise in finance and community service.
“All three new board members are deeply committed to New College, and we’re thrilled to welcome them,” said Sue Jacobson, the board chair of the Foundation. “Drs. Barazzone and Ensign, both New College alumni, are the products of and experts on the value of a liberal arts education.”
Both have served as presidents of leading universities and were instrumental in developing sustainable campuses at their institutions.
“Larry Geimer has an outstanding track record as a talented and experienced financial professional and a successful leader in the Sarasota community,” Jacobson added. “We’re honored to have these exceptional individuals bring their combined experience of leadership, expertise and energy to serve our mission at New College; and we’re confident their invaluable perspectives will empower our forward movement toward a bright future.”
More about the new members:
Barazzone ’64 is an alum of New College’s charter class who retired from Chatham University in 2016 after 24 years as president. Under Barazzone’s leadership, Chatham experienced extraordinary changes, including: the acquisition of university status in 1997; the decision to admit male undergraduates in 2014; adding graduate and doctoral programs; increasing enrollment from 500 to more than 2,000 students; increasing a diminishing endowment to $85 million, and building an environmentally sustainable campus—and the first carbon-neutral campus in the world at Chatham’s LEED Platinum Eden Hall campus.
Prior to Chatham, Barazzone was vice president of academic affairs at Philadelphia University, associate provost of Swarthmore College, director of corporate and foundation relations at the University of Pennsylvania, and a faculty member at Hamilton and Kirkland Colleges (where she taught modern European intellectual history). Throughout her career, Barazzone has been engaged in issues related to higher education, women’s opportunities and leadership, and global education.
In recent years, she has been extensively involved in sustainability education and initiatives at the university level. A civic leader as well, Barazzone is a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania, and her work in international education has been recognized by honorary degrees and citations from universities in Japan, Korea and Pakistan. Her career has been recognized by conferring of the “History Maker Award” from the Heinz History Center, the Pittsburgh Susan B. Anthony award. The Pittsburgh Business Times Lifetime Achievement and CEO of the Year was awarded in 2016, as well as the Rachel Carson Award for outstanding leadership in sustainability.
Ensign ’73, who studied peace studies at New College under Professor Peggy Bates, is currently the president of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), where she also served from 2010 to 2017. Ensign is renowned for founding and leading the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API), which successfully promoted peace and countered Boko Haram through education, youth empowerment, and humanitarian assistance for 300,000 refugees.
She served as president of Dickinson College from 2017 to 2021 where, under her leadership, the College became the first to twice receive the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, and deepened its commitment to civic engagement by establishing the Center for Civic Learning & Action. Ensign started her career as an assistant professor at Columbia University.
The author and editor of six books, including Rwanda: History and Hope, and Confronting Genocide: Dehumanization, Denial and Strategies for Prevention, Ensign has been internationally recognized for her work in development, the education of women and girls, and for her peace building, literacy education and humanitarian work. She has presented to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the American Council on Education, and has testified before Congress on global education, international affairs and foreign assistance
Geimer is a principal in the Sarasota-based firm, Kerkering, Barberio & Co., where his practice areas include tax compliance and tax planning. In addition to being highly regarded for his professional expertise, Geimer has a deep record of community service and leadership, including positions as a board leader or committee member for such organizations as the YMCA Foundation of Sarasota, the Sarasota County YMCA, the Florida Music Foundation and Legal Aid of Manasota. He is a graduate of Leadership Sarasota and is a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council and the Sarasota Economic Development Committee.
The New College Foundation is the philanthropic organization supporting New College of Florida. Its board of directors includes: Sue Jacobson, chair; Alison Gardner, first vice chair; Christine Jennings, second vice chair; Ray Burgman ’91, treasurer; Sharon Ramey ’65, secretary; and Janene Amick, Beverly Bartner, John Bean, Francine Blum, Susan Burns ’76, Karin Gustafson,’64, Renee Hamad, Charles Hamilton ’64, Glenn Hendrix ’76, Charlene Lenger ’78, George Quarterman, Charles Raeburn ’64, Sharon Landesman Ramey ’65, Mary Ruiz ’73, Jack Schlegel, Henry Smyth ’76, Dan Stults ’77 and Nancy Winship. Richard Donegan and Elaine Keating are trustee emeriti.
For more information about the New College Foundation, call 941-487-4800 or visit ncf.edu/alumni-and-friends/the-foundation.
Su Byron is the communications specialist for the New College Foundation.